Real Estate & Retail

Local malls line up new restaurants, retailers: Cheesecake Factory to open in Greenwood; hot clothing store H&M heading to Castleton

May 28, 2007

LAS VEGAS-Redevelopment plans at Greenwood Park and Castleton Square malls call for popular new restaurants and a sought-after Swedish clothing retailer.

The additions-which would add the area's second locations for The Cheesecake Factory and fashion retailer H&M, along with new-to-the-market restaurants Stir Crazy and BJ's Restaurant & Brewery-are named in materials Simon Property Group Inc. shared with retailers at the International Council of Shopping Centers annual convention in Las Vegas.

The highest-profile new tenant at Greenwood Park Mall would be The Cheesecake Factory, one of the nation's most popular and lucrative restaurant concepts, with average annual receipts of $11 million per restaurant. Nationwide, Cheesecake has about 125 restaurants ranging in size up to 21,000 square feet.

The Calabasas Hills, Calif.-based chain has seen "above average" results at its lone Indianapolis location, at the Fashion Mall at Keystone, and likes the growth in Greenwood, said Howard Gordon, a Cheesecake senior vice president. He said a lease is not yet final, but confirmed the restaurant's interest.

Other restaurants slated for a new, open-air lifestyle addition to Greenwood Park Mall include BJ's Restaurant & Brewery and Stir Crazy, a casual Asian restaurant. The new BJ's would be the first in Indiana for the Huntington Beach, Calif.-based chain, which has 60 locations in 10 states, including one in Columbus, Ohio.

Stir Crazy, which is based in Chicago, has nine locations in six states, including Illinois and Ohio. The chain allows customers to select fresh stir-fry ingredients and watch a chef prepare their meals.

Retail brokers say the new restaurants are a major victory for the Greenwood market. Cheesecake's decision to step in, after an earlier deal with California-based Elephant Bar Restaurant fell through, is a vote of confidence that should draw other retailers, said Steve Delaney, a Sitehawk Retail Real Estate broker who specializes in restaurants.

Castleton Square, the retail juggernaut along East 86th Street, will be getting stronger, too. The Simon plans show Stir Crazy and Stockholm, Sweden-based H&M-or Hennes & Mauritz-both will be part of the mall's new lifestyle center component.

H&M created a buzz when it opened in Circle Centre in 2005. The retailer is known for offering runway-ready clothes at affordable prices.

The lifestyle centers at Greenwood and Castleton will replace L.S. Ayres stores that closed after Cincinnati-based Federated Department Stores acquired St. Louis-based May Department Stores, the parent of Ayres. The combined company operates as Macy's Inc.

The lifestyle center at Castleton also will include an AMC Theatre and Borders Books & Music. The mall will have 1.26 million square feet of space. Greenwood, with 1.16 million square feet, will be getting a Barnes & Noble bookstore. Simon, which owns both malls, previously had announced the bookstore and theater additions.

The new restaurants and H&M are named in a pamphlet Simon shared with retailers at the company's 26,500-squarefoot booth at the ICSC convention May 20-23.

The document does not disclose the amount of space the retailers will take, but says both projects are scheduled for completion in the fall.

Simon officials did not return phone messages seeking comment on the plans and declined to meet with an IBJ reporter in Las Vegas. But people familiar with the process of securing retailers for malls say developers typically don't publish retailer names unless they have signed letters of intent and feel confident deals will be reached.

In the same document, Simon disclosed that Hamilton Town Center, the 900,000-square-foot shopping center under construction at Interstate 69 and the East 146th Street extension, will include Dick's Sporting Goods, Cost Plus World Market, JC Penney, Old Navy, Borders Books & Music, Bed Bath & Beyond, DSW, Ulta Cosmetics and Hamilton Theater with Imax.

The company also plans to add a sixunit food court to College Mall in Bloomington and a lifestyle-center expansion at Eastland Mall in Evansville.
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